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Uncle of Boston Marathon bomb suspect arrives at Mass. funeral home for Muslim burial rites

  • 43f79af419ec000f310f6a7067005b41.jpg

    Ruslan Tsarni, left, uncle of killed Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, departs the Graham, Putnam, and Mahoney Funeral Parlors, in Worcester, Mass., as funeral director and owner Peter Stefan, right, walks him to his car, Sunday, May 5, 2013. Stefan has pleaded for government officials to use their influence to convince a cemetery to bury Tsarnaev, but so far no state or federal authorities have stepped forward. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) (The Associated Press)

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    Police cars sit across from the Graham, Putnam and Mahoney Funeral Parlors, in Worcester, Mass., Friday, May 3, 2013. Owner Peter Stefan confirmed his facility will handle funeral arrangements for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, but did not say whether he had possession of the body. (AP Photo/The Telegram & Gazette) (The Associated Press)

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    Peter Stefan, funeral director and owner of Graham, Putnam and Mahoney Funeral Parlors in Worcester, Mass., sits in one of the facility's rooms Friday, May 3, 2013. Stefan confirmed his funeral home will handle funeral arrangements for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, but did not say whether he had possession of the body. (AP Photo/The Telegram & Gazette, Chris Christo) (The Associated Press)

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    FILE - In this Feb. 17, 2010, photo, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, left, smiles after accepting the trophy for winning the 2010 New England Golden Gloves Championship in Lowell, Mass. Tsarnaev, the older of the brothers suspected in the Boston Marathon bombing, died from gunshot wounds and blunt trauma to his head and torso, his death certificate says. (AP Photo/The Lowell Sun, Julia Malakie, File) MANDATORY CREDIT (The Associated Press)

The uncle of a Boston Marathon bombing suspect killed in a gun battle with police arrived at a funeral home Sunday to arrange for his burial.

Ruslan Tsarni of Montgomery Village, Md., and three other men met with Worcester funeral home director Peter Stefan. The men who accompanied Tsarni plan to wash and perform Muslim burial rites on the body of 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Stefan said.

Tsarnaev, who had appeared in surveillance photos wearing a black cap and was identified as Suspect No. 1, died days after the April 15 bombing, which killed three people and injured more than 260 others.

Stefan said he still hasn't found a cemetery that is willing to bury Tsarnaev. He plans to ask the city of Cambridge, where Tsarnaev lived, to provide a burial plot, Stefan said, and if Cambridge turns him down, he will seek help from state officials.

Stefan said protesters have gathered outside his business in recent days, upset with his decision to handle the funeral. But he believes everybody deserves a dignified burial service, no matter the circumstances of his or her death, he said. No protesters were camped outside the funeral home Sunday.

Tsarni has denounced the acts that his nephews — Tamerlan and younger brother Dzhokhar — are accused of committing and has said they brought shame to the family and the entire Chechen ethnicity. The brothers are ethnic Chechens from Russia who came to the United States about a decade ago with their parents. Both parents returned to Dagestan last year.

Dzhokhar, 19, is in a prison hospital, facing a potential death sentence if convicted of the terrorism plot.

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